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Lesson Transcript

Welcome to EnglishClass101.com’s British English in Three Minutes. The fastest, easiest, and most fun way to learn English.
Hey everyone, I’m Gina!
In this series, we’re going to learn some easy ways to ask and answer common questions in English. It’s really useful, and it only takes three minutes!
In this lesson, you’re going to learn how to ask someone about their family, asking whether they have any brothers or sisters.
Asking someone about their family is nearly always a good topic of conversation. After all, most people love to talk about their family, right? In some English textbooks you’ll see the question: “Do you have any siblings?” but actually we rarely use the word “siblings” in natural, casual spoken English.
So in order to ask this question naturally, all you say is:
“Do you have any brothers or sisters?”
Remember that in English, we hardly ever say “sisters or brothers”. It’s one of those phrases with a set word order, like “black and white” - “brothers or sisters”.
So the other person’s answer to this question will probably be one of the following.
“Yeah, I have two brothers/a brother and a sister/two sisters/and so on.”
Sometimes they’ll give details about ages, and say something like:
“Yeah, I have two younger brothers.”
Or:
“Yeah, I have a younger brother and an older sister.”
And so on.
Note that some people say “elder” instead of “older”, but they both mean the same thing.
If the other person doesn’t give details about the ages of his/her brothers and sisters, though, you can ask a polite follow-up question to show you’re interested.
“Is he or she older or younger (than you)?”
“Are they older or younger (than you)?”
The “than you” at the end is optional, as it’s understood from the context.
But what happens if the other person doesn’t have any brothers or sisters? There’s a set phrase for this in English, and that’s...
“I’m an only child.”
Now it’s time for Gina’s Tips!
When someone gives you information like this and there doesn’t seem to be anything else to ask, a good all-purpose reply is to say “Oh, really?” with a downward tone, while nodding or just looking interested. Be careful, though - it’s really important to sound interested when you say “Oh, really?” - otherwise you can sound very rude and sarcastic!
Do you know how to ask someone if they have a husband, wife, boyfriend or girlfriend without being rude? In the next lesson you’ll learn how to ask a more personal question in polite English. See you next time!

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EnglishClass101.com
Friday at 6:30 pm
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What about you? Do you have any brothers and sisters?

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EnglishClass101.com
Tuesday at 3:44 pm
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Hello Adriano,


What do you mean? Maybe there is some problem with your browser or your internet connection? Have you checked those?


Have a nice day!

Erica

Team EnglishClass101.com

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EnglishClass101.com
Tuesday at 3:42 pm
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Hi bichtram,


I'm sorry you feel that way. But I hope you learned what was taught in the video.


Regards,

Erica

Team EnglishClass101.com

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Adriano
Saturday at 2:02 am
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Hi there!

Thanks for the audio video lesson, but it doens´t work very well.

I can´t hear the conversation clearly... It was interrupted all the time.

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bichtram
Saturday at 12:42 am
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her voice is uninteresting

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bichtram
Saturday at 12:36 am
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I don't like the way she is dressing

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EnglishClass101.com
Thursday at 12:37 pm
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Hello Ahmed,

Hi Thanhnga,


Thank you for sharing with us :smile:

Let's keep practicing during the next lessons.


Cheers!

Laura

Team EnglishClass101.com

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Thanhnga
Wednesday at 3:29 pm
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I have one younger brother and two younger sitters. We have the same father but different mothers.

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Ahmed
Sunday at 6:55 am
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Hi


I have only one bro. although many families here have at least 3 or four siblings. I am really deprived of sisters...aaaaaah if I had sisters ......